Brian Ee, a teacher at Lord Selkirk Elementary in Vancouver, embraces all his superhero powers to help his students learn to write. As a recipient of a SET-BC Tier 2 classroom-based solution this school year, Brian has learned to use the Kurzweil 3000 software with its built-in writing process supports to help students deconstruct the writing task, organize their thoughts and produce quality written work.
Prior to this school year, Brian had seen Kurzweil 3000 but had limited knowledge of how to implement the program. After an initial Collaborative Action Plan Meeting (CAP Meeting) with a SET-BC consultant, he suggested Kurzweil as a writing support that he believed could benefit his students. As he works to overcome a variety of learning challenges in his English Language Arts class, Brian saw Kurzweil as an accessible tool to harness his students’ ideas and engage them in the writing process.
Brian and Sherman, the EA supporting his class, then attended a morning Kurzweil 3000 workshop presented by SET-BC on a Vancouver School District Professional Day. As Brian gained insight into the power of the program, he worked in partnership with a SET-BC consultant to introduce the software to his students.
Brian’s class has worked through the writing path in the program making use of the wide range of brainstorming and outlining features. As students have become more adept using these features, they have moved from a free brainstorm of ideas, to using the single-paragraph essay writing template to focus on topic sentences with supporting details and concluding sentences. Brian is now exploring the persuasive paragraph template as students write on whether or not cell phones and personal devices should be available for use in the typical classroom (we can guess what their thoughts might be on that topic!).
According to Brian, when pen and paper are the only option, several students in his class produce almost no written work. With the introduction of laptops and supportive software to his English program, several students are now writing, when previously their thoughts and ideas would be lost because they would avoid the writing task. As they were writing their persuasive paragraphs, one student was heard to comment that he would “totally use tech” to write everything if he had it routinely available to him.
Though his cape is at the cleaners, Brian, now dubbed “Captain Kurzweil” by his students (and the SET-BC Consultant), continues his quest to effectively support his students. Though it may not always be “Captain Kurzweil” to the rescue, Brian and his team are clearly demonstrating the value of technology supports in the classroom!